Zifa to re-brand

Itai Dzamara

THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is planning to re-brand at the beginning of next year with the major aim of shedding the stigma that has haunted the soccer governing body for over a dec

ade.


Investigations by IndependentSport revealed that Zifa is negotiating with a leading member of the corporate world who will become the major sponsor for the association and all national teams. The sponsor will gain mileage through merchandise and branding of all products belonging to the mother association.


The potential sponsor will be involved in the re-branding process and expected to clear huge debts inherited from previous years which still haunt Zifa.


Zifa chairman Rafiq Khan confirmed on Wednesday that the football association was deliberating with the Ministry of Sports, the Sports and Recreation Commission and potential sponsors on the re-branding.


“We are deliberating with the ministry and the SRC as well as the potential sponsors on that issue, which we intend to implement at the beginning of the year,” Khan said.


“There is a positive development in that there are major sponsors who have indicated a willingness to pour a lot of resources into Zifa that will go a long way in solving our viability problems. The re-branding will be aimed at getting rid of the bad image that follows Zifa everywhere.”


Although Khan declined to divulge more details, sources close to the deliberations revealed this week that Zifa would consider a change of name as well as its logo as part of the re-branding. An overhaul of the structures at Zifa would also be included with a possible revamping of the provincial and league set-ups.


Zifa could also offer contracts to members of the corporate world for sponsorship of each of the national team, right from the senior team to the junior teams.


The implementation of this project would require about $1 billion, which must come from the sponsors.


The local soccer governing body has a bad reputation of mismanagement and failure to pay debts. Zifa this week had furniture attached over unpaid debts for services rendered by a transport operator.


National teams have been suffering from lack of sponsorship, with players having to fight battles with Zifa to get their winning bonuses and allowances.


Sources at Zifa said the soccer governing body was grappling with debts amounting to $1,5 billion. The amount accrues from hotel and accommodation allowances as well as other services rendered to Zifa by state and private institutions.